ADEA State Update

Florida Legislature Begins Special Session but Medicaid Expansion Bill Fails

(State Policy, Medicare and Medicaid) Permanent link   All Posts

June 1 was the first day of a 20-day special legislative session in Florida to focus on issues such as Medicaid expansion, appropriations, transportation and taxes.

On the first day of the special session, the Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy, chaired by Sen. Aaron Bean (R-FL), passed S.B. 2-A, the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange (FHIX) Program. 

Florida has the fourth-largest Medicaid program in the country. Medicaid currently covers:

  • 20% of Florida’s population,
  • 27% of Florida’s children,
  • 62.2% of Florida’s births, and
  • 69% of Florida’s nursing homes days.

The FHIX program will offer health care coverage to an estimated 800,000 uninsured, low-income Floridians earning less than 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Under FHIX, enrollees will receive a premium credit to shop for plans, services and products on the FHIX marketplace. Enrollees may also access plans on the federally facilitated marketplace, all products and services from Florida Health Choices, products offered by the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and employer-sponsored plans. There is a provision for pediatric dental care under the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation. Enrollees would also be provided with a health reimbursement or health savings account.

To be eligible, participants are required to complete an initial application for coverage, which includes proof of employment, on-the-job training, or placement activities, including registration with CareerSource Florida, or pursuit of educational opportunities at a minimum hourly level.

Additionally, the bill provides the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) with authority to seek federal approval to implement the FHIX program.

However, on June 5, the legislative debate over S.B. 2-A ended as the bill failed to pass the full House.

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